After 4 and a half years, the largest expedition to the depths of the ocean announced the discovery of 12 new species of marine creatures.
With funding from the European Union, the “Atlas” project, which completed its mission by the end of 2020, carried out about 45 research missions since June 2016, to explore life under the sea, in a deep area of the North Atlantic Ocean.
And participated in the project, which cost 11 million dollars, more than 80 scientists and volunteer students from 13 countries, specializing in marine and ocean biology, according to the British newspaper “Daily Mail”.
Due to the inability to reach the depths of the oceans, humans know little about life in the depths. Even ocean chemist George Wolf pointed out that humans have “clearer maps of the surface of the moon and Mars compared to the seafloor.”
The cruise resulted in the discovery of 12 new species of sea creatures, as well as 35 known marine creatures, in places where they were not previously discovered.
The researchers also concluded that ocean warming, acidification, and decreased food availability due to increased marine pollution will lead to a decrease in the environment suitable for deep ocean creatures by the year 2100.
Scientists have also discovered a field of hot springs on the seafloor in the Azores, where hydrothermal fields are important areas with high biological productivity, and host complex societies in the depths of the vast oceans.
And because the distant depths of the seas can crush divers from high pressure, robots were used that helped discover undiscovered places.
Among their discoveries were mollusks, fish, sponges, and a new species of coral, which lives on black coral reefs more than 1,300 feet below the surface.